Montana marriage ban overturned; licenses granted

And the walls keep tumbling down.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday overturned the state gay marriage ban in Montana, one of the last states to continue defending its ban despite rulings in favor of same-sex marriage from appeals courts that oversee them.

At least two counties — Missoula and Park — started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples soon after, while court clerks elsewhere in the state geared up to do so Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ruled Montana’s constitutional amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.


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Politician on Transgender Son: ‘We’re Proud of Him’

More high profile individuals with transgendered children should speak out. Maybe then more awareness will help those in need.

When Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen talks about LGBT issues, she knows of what she speaks: Her son, Rodrigo, is transgender — and she’s his biggest fan.

The Republican Rep. — and only member of Congress with a transgender child — took to TV on Nov. 17, during Transgender Awareness Week, in a public show of support for her 28-year-old, born Amanda. She urged other parents of transgender kids to have as much pride in their sons and daughters as she has in the eldest of her four children and stepchildren. “We know Rigo as our child, whether it’s Amanda or now as Rodgrigo, he’s our son and we’re proud of him,” the politician declared in an interview with CBS 4 News Miami. “We’re very happy that our son is happy with who he is. And that’s a blessing to us.”

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Personal Venting

I’m going to take a little time out from the news and views for myself. I need a good place to vent other than to my friends.

Yesterday, my mother told me that she “took a trip down memory lane” and looked inside this 3′ by 4′ cedar chest that she’s had all of my life. In it she’s stored stored a lot of things from my childhood as well as my brother’s. I think a few keepsakes way at the bottom are from her youth. She asked me what she should do about my things. I don’t care what she does with them. Her response was, “I’d hoped to have grandchildren…”

Way to remind me how much of a disappointment I am! Admittedly she’s doesn’t do it as often as she used to, but every now and then she likes to take a stab at me. But here’s the thing: even if I weren’t a Lesbian, she still wouldn’t have grandchildren. I have always been terrified of being a parent. I don’t think I could do it. I’d lose it all with the PPD. But the other, more important thing is that keepsakes should be for the keeper, not for the one who created whatever it is being kept. I haven’t really kept much over the years; what I have is mostly paper and I know it’s not going to last forever. But I kept every scrap of paper for no one but myself. I kept it so I can look at things and remember the good times.

I just wish my mother would let go of her childhood dreams and accept me (and my brother) as we are. Neither of us is going to fulfill that dream, so let it go.

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Former ‘Ex-Gay’ Leader, Marries A Man In Oklahoma

Well well, how the tables have turned. I’m beginning to wonder if all these haters are really afraid to come out of the closet so they try stuffing everyone else back in or making sure no one else comes out.

The former leader of a notorious “ex-gay” ministry has married his longtime partner.

As the Memphis Flyer originally reported, former Love In Action Director John Smid, who was previously considered one of the foremost leaders of “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy, tied the knot with Larry McQueen on Nov. 16 in Hugo, Oklahoma. The couple currently lives in Paris, Texas.

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New York’s Largest Jail To Open Housing Unit For Transgender Women

You know, my first reaction to this was “I’m glad they’re thinking of these women’s needs.” But then I wonder why they should need the special treatment. They are women now, whatever they were born as. So who is telling the other inmates they were born anatomically male? Shouldn’t prison wardens and others who work in the jail system be schooled on how to keep their mouths closed???

NEW YORK — The country’s second-largest jail will open a housing unit this week for transgender women, officials announced Tuesday, in a historic effort to protect transgender inmates from violence, rape and harassment.

The New York City Department of Correction said that the new housing unit at the Rikers Island jail facility will have an initial capacity of 30 beds, which it said would be sufficient for the number of transgender women at Rikers at any given time. Inmates will be placed in the unit voluntarily.

“Because inmates are not all alike, the Department is creating specialized housing for many specific inmate groups,” said Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte in a statement. “Providing [transgender women] with specialized housing and services is good policy and meaningful reform and is expected to reduce incidents involving these individuals while also leading to better long-term outcomes, including possible reductions in recidivism,” he said.

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First Openly Gay NBA Player Announces Retirement

Jason Collins, the first openly gay professional athlete to compete in any of the four major North American team sports leagues, announced Wednesday in a first-person article for Sports Illustrated that he is retiring from the NBA.

“It feels wonderful to have been part of these milestones for sports and for gay rights, and to have been embraced by the public, the coaches, the players, the league and history,” Collins wrote. “It had been argued that no team would want to take on a player who was likely to attract a media circus from the outset and whose sexuality would be a distraction. I’m happy to have helped put those canards to rest.”

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A third of Fortune 500 companies now cover transgender health care

This is awesome news for our transgendered brothers and sisters!! Let’s hope we reach 100% soon!

The number of Fortune 500 companies willing pay for sex reassignment surgeries and other transgender-related healthcare has gone from zero in 2002 to 169 this year, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.

The report, which ranks corporations on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans employees, also found that more than half of corporations with more than 500 employees that participated in the survey now cover the procedures. That’s 418 firms.

Some of the biggest names in corporate America are among those who have signed up to cover the procedures, at up to $75,000 per employee. Facebook Inc., Visa, Starbucks Corp., CVS Health Corp. and Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. are just some of the firms that decided this year to begin covering the procedures for their workers for the first time.

“The jump in terms of employers adopting transgender benefits has been the most dramatic of any single aspect of the Corporate Equality Index in its entire history,” said Deena Fidas, the director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Workplace Equality Program, which has been producing the report for more than a decade.

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